Tufts stepped up its recycling program this July with the appointment of Dawn Quirk as full-time recycling coordinator of the Tufts Recycles program.
Quirk hopes to increase confidence in the program and get Tufts involved in Recycle Mania, a recycling competition started in 2001 by Ed Newman, Refuse and Recycling Manager at Ohio University.
The contest, which has grown to include 17 schools, measures the pounds of trash recycled per student living on campus at each school for a 10-week period. The school that has recycled the most at the end of the 10 weeks receives a trophy made of recycled material and a free half-page advertisement in the newspapers of all other competing schools.
The recycling program at Tufts was established in 1990 to promote recycling awareness and participation in a broad range of environmental issues, according to the Tufts Recycles website.
The program has been successful and Tufts now recycles at a rate of 36 percent. Quirk praised previous recycling coordinator Anja Kollmuss, saying she did a “fantastic job” despite serving in only a part-time capacity, and that she was “very impressed with the program I came in to.”
The most important effect Quirk believes she can have on the program at this point is to make sure that its performance remains consistent.
With her continued efforts, “recycling rates will improve and trash rates will go down,” she said.
Quirk said that she thinks students and faculty have had varying degrees of trust in the recycling program since its inception as a student initiative in 1990.
Recycling bins are available next to the trash receptacles in every residence hall, and individual recycling bins have been delivered to each room. Requests for additional bins can be sent to [email protected]